Mama Mayhem

Coming to a theatre near you: First Tango in Echuca

By Riverine Herald

OUR director for The Addams Family has been kind enough to give us 10 days off over the Easter period.

Which means rehearsals this week have been cancelled.

This should come as a welcome relief when you have been living and breathing musical theatre for the past four months.

But I have to say, I’m a little concerned. Not for the show itself — which is looking fabulous by the way (sorry, not sorry for the shameless plug).

No, because I need to master the tango in just over a month.

My friend Gerard Oman (who plays Gomez) and I have to dance a six-minute tango at the end of the show — a performance that is likely to send shivers up people’s spines or have them laughing uncontrollably.

I would rather the former.

The tango is considered one of the more difficult dances to learn and the technique is completely different to any other ballroom dance.

You need to stay low to the ground while mastering smooth and sharp movements at the same time.

And to top it off — while trying to recall the tricky technique, timing and movements — you have to make it look sexy.

Known as the dance of love, the tango is a highly sensual ballroom dance which was actually banned by the church when it first emerged because it was too ‘‘immoral’’ and ‘‘provocative’’.

So when you get a couple — one of whom has never had dance training in his life and the other who hasn’t danced seriously for 20 years — there’s bound to be challenges.

You can imagine how difficult it is to exude passion when your partner, bless him, is just a laugh a minute.

I can hardly keep a serious face when we are required to gaze adoringly into each other’s eyes. And he is the same.

But that’s where the acting comes into it. Which is no problem.

On the other hand, dancing takes a bit more practice, so the more we can get the better.

It’s been tough going but after a few weeks, the bruises on our feet have started to fade, the pain in my thighs is easing and I am slowly learning to let Gerry lead me, not the other way around.

And it’s all thanks to our talented choreographer Colleen DeWinne who hasn’t shown an ounce of impatience through our incompetence.

And when she joins us on the dance floor to help us through the steps, we feel like we could actually nail this.

Unfortunately we can’t take her with us on the stage.

Because, apparently, it only takes two to tango.